As Russia prepares for the possibility of new sanctions from the U.S., it's not the only economy bracing for the possible impact. As Kate King reports, business groups in Germany, for one, believe they could harm some European firms.
Putting a twist on 'America First'. U.S. plans for tighter sanctions on Russia, could also hit its allies in the pocket. Germany, for one, believes it might harm European firms with energy interests in their eastern neighbour. (SOUNDBITE) (German) MANAGER, GERMAN COMMITTEE ON EAST EUROPEAN ECONOMIC RELATIONS, MICHAEL HARMS, SAYING: "At the centre are not just sanctions against U.S. companies but against all companies involved in the construction, repair or modernisation of Russian export pipelines. The sanctions, which are in response to Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict, target the disputed Nord Stream 2 project. That's a new pipeline running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. A list seen by Reuters shows the EU believes 8 associated programmes, involving major oil giants, risk falling foul of the measures. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA JOAQUIN CASTRO SAYING DURING THE EARLIER DEBATE: These sanctions are a clear signal that the United States will hold President Putin and his close associates accountable for their actions." Easing penalties would be up to President Donald Trump, who's facing intense scrutiny over his administration's ties to Russia during last year's election campaign. If there was even a hint of friendship then, there certainly isn't now. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) KREMLIN SPOKESMAN, DMITRY PESKOV, SAYING: "Right now we can say that this is rather sad news from the point of view of Russia-U.S. ties and their further development. This is no less disheartening from the point of view of international law and international trade relations." If diplomacy fails, the EU plans to file a complaint at the World Trade Organisation, but it would require permission from all 28 members. First though, the bill must pass the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law or veto.